Music

Jon singing
Jon singing at La Parisienne, circa 1986

 

Jon at busking carnival
Jon at a national busking contest, 1987 (I came second)

Once upon a time (well, for about 10 years actually) I used to sing for a living, accompanying myself on guitar, mostly playing songs from the Swing Era, mixed in with a bit of blues and jazz. Sadly, little survives in the way of decent recordings or even pictures from my singing career, but here are a few fuzzy renditions that give a hint of what I did (and, to a much lesser extent, still do)

1980s

Recordings from the Greys pub in Brighton, 1987.

My baby just cares for me (Donaldson & Kahn)

Buddy can you spare a dime (Harburg & Gorney)

In the mood (Garland & Razaf)

Sweet Georgia Brown (Bernie, Pinkard & Casey) (with Mike Mann on spoons)

A few songs from around 2001

I did these as I was trying to get the hang of making digital recordings, made in my office at home. They’re very quick and dirty, with a very small amount of double-tracking on the guitar solos, but the quality is a little higher than the earlier live recordings.

Guilty (Whiting, Akst, & Kahn)

Every time we say goodbye (Porter)

So Tired (Morgan & Stuart)

And so it goes on: the 2010s…

In 2012 I gatecrashed the OpenEd conference cruise as there happened to be a few of my friends at the conference, and the cruise boat happened to be leaving from a dock that is about 10 minutes away from where I live by False Creek Ferry. After a drink or three or four, I joined in the jamming session, and someone recorded it. I should note that I usually sing this song half an octave lower, and mostly with less alcohol, for reasons that may be painfully apparent…

In 2018 I did a gig at the Pie Shoppe, in conjunction with SugarCubeCabin, my favourite local sponsor of the arts. Here’s an ad for it on Instagram, put up by the Pie Shoppe Girls…

 

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This is me singing Istanbul from that session…

Here’s a recording of me singing I Wanna Be Like You, from the same set…

And here’s a video of me singing the very same song about a week later in Donnellan’s pub, Granville St, Vancouver. The sound quality is a bit shaky.

King of the Swingers video